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Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:16 AM

Increase the minimum wage!

Last edited Mon Dec 16, 2013, 03:42 PM - Edit history (1)

An editorial appeared in the local paper on December 12 to which I had to respond. Here's what the local hair-on-fire conservative had to say:

Every God-created human being, born of Adam, has the right to have the things that are necessary for life: shelter, food, clothing, etc. No one in this day and time wants to accept the responsibilities of their own actions. If they have a child out of wedlock, kill it or have it and get more food stamps, there is no shame or disgrace associated with their decisions. The lost of reputation and standing in the community doesn’t matter anymore. The moral conscience of our country is on life support and fading fast. Trusting anyone is a thing of the past. Honor is becoming obsolete. Respect is taught, but more than that, young people follow the example we set.

Grandmothers of today raise their children’s children, so the parents can work or do other things. Can you imagine what kind of grandmothers this generation will produce? This generation of “me and mine” will not be raising anyone else’s children for sure. This is what our current society is producing -- not a self-supporting, responsible generation, but one dependent on the government, handouts and the sympathy and kindness of others.

It has been said that the oldest profession is prostitution. That has changed today. It is being on government assistance, a new form of prostitution and another practice of slavery. Once you’re in the system, you do not get out very easily. Will this current pattern change? Only if parents become more responsible and change. Hopefully, they will..


To which I responded as follows:

In the December 12 edition of The Telegraph, J. M. Bass bemoans the irresponsibility and moral failings of today’s youth. I think his indignation is misguided.

For many years now, studies have shown that American workers are the most productive in the world. Because we work very hard in the United States, it’s hard to stomach Mr. Bass’ complaints about dependency and laziness. Many Americans with jobs still have to rely upon government assistance in order to survive. Wal-Mart, America’s largest employer, pays its “associates” so little that most of them qualify for government aid. In this way, taxpayers subsidize both Wal-Mart’s low wages and its obscene corporate profits.

Elizabeth Warren, a former economics professor who is currently serving in the United States Senate, has shown that the 1962 minimum wage, if it were adjusted for both inflation and increases in productivity, would currently be about $22.00/hr. ($44,000/year.). No wonder American families could survive on just one income in 1962. Our world is very different now. I know a couple of college-educated people with government jobs who are making $18,000/year—less than half what a burger-flipper would have made in 1962.

While the stock market is recording new highs, American wages are approaching record lows. Our Federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr. is both embarrassing and exploitative. In France, the minimum wage is the equivalent of $13.00/hr. In Australia, it’s $15.00/hr. Naturally, our business leaders insist that calamity will befall us if we raise the minimum wage. Nonsense! Australia seems to be doing just fine with a minimum wage that’s over double ours, and our economy was thriving in 1962 when the minimum wage was the equivalent of $22.00/hr. Why can’t we return to those economic glory days?

The answer is simple. Greed is keeping far too many Americans impoverished. Increase the minimum wage and Mr. Bass’ Scrooge-like complaints about people who are less fortunate than he is will evaporate.


My editorial appears in this morning's edition of the paper. Let us hope it does some good.

-Laelth

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Arrow 52 replies Author Time Post
Reply Increase the minimum wage! (Original post)
Laelth Dec 2013 OP
xchrom Dec 2013 #1
Laelth Dec 2013 #2
xchrom Dec 2013 #4
Laelth Dec 2013 #6
Eleanors38 Dec 2013 #16
diabeticman Dec 2013 #3
Laelth Dec 2013 #5
Laelth Dec 2013 #45
dchill Dec 2013 #7
Laelth Dec 2013 #17
Orsino Dec 2013 #8
Laelth Dec 2013 #9
Sheri Dec 2013 #10
Laelth Dec 2013 #15
Eleanors38 Dec 2013 #11
Laelth Dec 2013 #12
Half-Century Man Dec 2013 #13
Laelth Dec 2013 #14
maindawg Dec 2013 #18
Laelth Dec 2013 #20
pangaia Dec 2013 #39
brer cat Dec 2013 #19
Laelth Dec 2013 #21
pangaia Dec 2013 #40
Laelth Dec 2013 #41
pangaia Dec 2013 #42
Laelth Dec 2013 #43
LittleGirl Dec 2013 #22
Laelth Dec 2013 #25
Orrex Dec 2013 #23
Laelth Dec 2013 #27
Orrex Dec 2013 #32
Laelth Dec 2013 #33
sammythecat Dec 2013 #52
ProSense Dec 2013 #24
Laelth Dec 2013 #28
99Forever Dec 2013 #26
Laelth Dec 2013 #30
JimDandy Dec 2013 #29
Laelth Dec 2013 #31
cate94 Dec 2013 #34
Laelth Dec 2013 #35
FairWinds Dec 2013 #36
Laelth Dec 2013 #37
pangaia Dec 2013 #38
Laelth Dec 2013 #44
Scuba Dec 2013 #46
Laelth Dec 2013 #48
Octafish Dec 2013 #47
Laelth Dec 2013 #49
Triana Dec 2013 #50
Laelth Dec 2013 #51

Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:17 AM

1. du rec.

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Response to xchrom (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:17 AM

2. Thanks, xchrom.

And, good morning.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:24 AM

4. bon jour! i am Festooned in my Holiday Balls!

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Response to xchrom (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:26 AM

6. Lovely.

That's a good look.



Thanks for the kick.

-Laelth

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Response to xchrom (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:51 AM

16. Very fetching doll-up.

 

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:22 AM

3. Please let us know the response

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:25 AM

5. My paper now requires facebook validation for coments.

Discussion was far more "lively" before this change, but I'll let you know how people respond. In this purple city in the middle of a deep-red zone, I suspect most responses will be belligerent. That said, a lot of people who do not respond will be supportive.

Either way, thanks for the response and the kick.

-Laelth

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Response to diabeticman (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 06:19 AM

45. As requested, here are the two responses that have been posted so far.

The first is from Daisy Jonesing, as follows:

"studies have shown American workers are the most productive in the world."

(Laelth) I don't know whether to laugh in your face or tell your family to see if they can't get a '302' and send you off in a straight jacket.

The hardest working people in the entire world are the Japanese and Korean! They can work circles around 'any one' in this country.

Do you have any knowledge at all of fiat money, inflation, cost of living, LACK OF JOBS and GOVERNMENT CONTROL?

http://www.macon.com/2013/12/15/2834507/this-is-viewpoints-for-sunday.html


The second is from Spyros Alvonellos, as follows:

(Laelth), it seems you have also fallen for the raise the minimum wage "trap" and you completely ignore the "Lower the inflation" solution. But you admit it by accident we have high inflation with your statement " if it were adjusted for both inflation and increases in productivity, currently would be about $22 an hour ($44,000 per year)"....YES! that is indeed the problem...INFLATION is high! Now why would that be? Also, could you imagine once the minimum wage is raised, what would happen to prices for everyday goods like gasoline, milk, bread, eggs, meat ect? Yes, they would rise too! You see the solution is to lower inflation and not printing money and going into more debt is a sure way of making the US dollar stronger.

http://www.macon.com/2013/12/15/2834507/this-is-viewpoints-for-sunday.html


Not much to work with, honestly, but that's what's been posted so far. I should mention, though, that I got a nice call from a cousin thanking me for fighting the good fight, and an acquaintance I met while browsing in a bookstore also thanked me for writing. I suspect I will get a few calls today, as well.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:28 AM

7. K & R.

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Response to dchill (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:52 AM

17. Thanks for the k&r. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:32 AM

8. All the righties who claim to honor work...

...really ought to start coughing up some goddamned well-paying jobs.

However, our government has chosen, as do all failing empires, to revere wealth rather than labor.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:38 AM

9. Spot on. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:45 AM

10. well done. nt

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Response to Sheri (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:50 AM

15. Thanks for the response. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:47 AM

11. The old School practice of letters-to-editors still packs a punch..

 



And your's does. I can't believe how some turn logic on its head. The best way to END dependency is to raise wages to a minimum livability floor.

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:48 AM

12. Hear, hear!

Thanks for the response and for the kind words.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:48 AM

13. Turn some heads

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Response to Half-Century Man (Reply #13)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:49 AM

14. That is my hope.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 10:59 AM

18. The print media is very conservative

 

Young people do not read the papers. So the print media caters to the mature reader. By doing so they are marginalizing themselves right out of existence. Its infuriating to both demographics. Also the mature reader only watches Fauxsnooze because they do the same thing. You cannot fix stupid. Leave it lie until it dies.
But that was a great response too bad no one will bother to read it. The crowd we are talking about is stubornly set in their ways, hell they still worship saint Ronnie. They think W was a good president and they even still believe that Dick was a good VP. So like I said, you cant fix stupid.

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Response to maindawg (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:16 AM

20. Thanks for the response.

I suspect quite a few will read it. The supportive readers won't comment, and the hostile ones will. The conservative minority is quite vocal, but they're still the minority as repeated polls have shown. It is incumbent upon us liberals to voice our opinions. We're right, after all, but the people are drowned out by the right-wing media echo-chamber. My preference is to fight it (when I can).

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

-Laelth

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Response to maindawg (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:11 PM

39. Problem is they don't know he wasn't a saint but the anti-christ.

or at least a pile of steaming meadow muffins.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:14 AM

19. Excellent response, Laelth.

The answer is just as simple as you state. May it be food for thought for many in your area.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #19)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:16 AM

21. Thanks for the kind words and for the kick. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:12 PM

40. I know how to give a rec. What about a Kick?

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Response to pangaia (Reply #40)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:30 PM

41. Just posting on the thread "kicks" it.

Thanks for the post.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #41)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:34 PM

42. Dumb me, eh.

here's another.

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Response to pangaia (Reply #42)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:56 PM

43. Excellent. Thanks for the kick. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:53 AM

22. ^^^ This!

Walmart is one of the boycotted businesses in this house. We don't shop there and there is one less than a mile from my house. I shop at Costco (6 miles away) as often as possible because they pay a livable wage.

I have also boycotted Chick Filet and Hobby Lobby or any shop that decides that their religion trumps others. I learned about Walmart when I was studying management and that was back in the early 90s. I haven't stepped foot in one of their stores in decades. I just refuse to shop with them and support OWS too.

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Response to LittleGirl (Reply #22)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:02 PM

25. My household is also boycotting all 3 of the businesses you mention.

Thanks for the response.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 11:58 AM

23. I have met no one who argues against raising the minimum wage

more aggressively than people who earn just slightly above minimum wage. It blows my mind, honestly, to hear the outrage of these people who earn $12/hour, horrified that a mere McDonalds employee might somehow deserve $15/hour.

I have had the argument many times in recent weeks, and I am consistently amazed at how passionately they fight to eliminate the only leverage that they might use to secure a higher wage for themselves.

Better to fight for crumbs than to partake of the feast, I suppose.



k/r

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Response to Orrex (Reply #23)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:04 PM

27. It is astounding and incomprehensible.

I have encountered the same kind of resistance. I chalk it up to ignorance of economics and the ever-pervasive power of the right-wing echo chamber.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #27)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:16 PM

32. I believe you're correct on both counts

In addition, there's a disturbing "I deserve better" vibe running through all of it.

[font size=4]"I[/font] work harder at my job than a McDonalds worker."
[font size=4]"I[/font] paid more money for my degree than a McDonalds worker."
[font size=4]"I[/font] made better career choices than a McDonalds worker."
[font size=4]"I[/font] made better life choices than a McDonalds worker."
etc.

The answer to all of these objections is simple: those are arguments for why you deserve an increased wage, not an argument for why the McDonalds worker deserves a decreased wage.


People seem so eager to ingratiate themselves to their corporate masters that they reflexively attack any suggestion that they might be able to do better.


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Response to Orrex (Reply #32)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:29 PM

33. You're right, and it's frustrating.

If only those folks could realize that we all do better when the working class has money to spend. That's the truth, and the pervasive resistance to this truth has been eroding wealth in this country for over forty years.

I often feel like I am beating my head against a brick wall on this issue, yet I can not make myself be silent about it.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Orrex (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 11:00 AM

52. Honest to god,

sometimes (too often) I get the panicky feeling I'm living in a country full of stupid people. Like we're one step away from full blown idiocracy.

Your observations of people's reaction to a minimum wage increase are dead on. And it seems they shut down their brains after their first gut reaction. They don't think of the next step and the one after that. Factory workers will always be better paid than McD workers, so their wages will have to increase or else their employers won't have a workforce. On and On. It's a snowball effect. Everybody benefits. Crime goes down, general mental and physical health improves.

We become a better, happier, and more productive society when we have a thriving, comfortable middle class and the poor have a real and legitimate chance to move up. And with millions and millions able to finally spend money and some to spend more, the rich will continue to get rich and they, and the rest of us, will get to live in a much better country. Unless I'm missing something, it looks like win-win for everybody to me. Instead, we seem hell bent on making life miserable and we'll ferociously resist any attempts to change course.

Compassion, reason, logic, the flu, and cancer are all things we fear and desperately want rid of.

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:01 PM

24. Excellent comment. Here's a chart:

On minimum wage, U.S. lags many rivals

By Chris Isidore



President Obama's proposal to hike the U.S. minimum wage to $9 an hour would still leave the lowest-paid American workers trailing their counterparts in several other major industrial countries.

The world's highest minimum wage is paid in Australia, where workers are paid at least 15.96 Australian dollars, or $16.91, an hour.

Canada does not have a national minimum wage, but the lowest provincial minimum wage is in Alberta, where workers must be paid at least 9.75 Canadian dollars, or $9.73, an hour, while workers in Yukon get at least $10.27.

Figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a multinational research body, show nine countries around the world where the minimum wage is more than the $9 President Obama is proposing.

- more -

http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/13/news/economy/minimum-wage-countries/index.html

Yup we need to start somewhere: $10 would bring us closer to the UK. It would be great if we could match Australia or lead the developed countries.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #24)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:05 PM

28. Excellent graphic.

Thanks for the thoughtful and well-researched response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:04 PM

26. Good on you Laelth.

I call 'em out every time I can on the bull shit too.

Had to dress my s-i-l down just recently as to the reality of the harm the Waltons have done to this once great Nation. This from a clown who is out buying a $3500 "fishing kayak" as their home goes into foreclosure.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #26)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:09 PM

30. Wow. Sounds like your s-i-l is a real prize.

Thanks for fighting the good fight.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:08 PM

29. Good Response. n/t

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Response to JimDandy (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:10 PM

31. Thanks. n/t

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:29 PM

34. K & R

Well said.

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Response to cate94 (Reply #34)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:41 PM

35. Thanks for the k&r. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:57 PM

36. Very Good Response . .

 

As a progressive who writes a lot of newspaper columns (Op-eds),
I can say with a little bit of authority that your answer is both well
written and well argued.
Another point you might have raised (had you space to do so), is
that corporate welfare in general totally dwarfs aid to the less well off.
So it the right wing argument is that welfare leads to dependency,
then the corporate sector (and the ONE %) are far more dependent.
There are a number of excellent posts on DU that explain and
demonstrate ridiculous welfare for the rich.
Keep up the great work !!

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Response to FairWinds (Reply #36)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:00 PM

37. Thanks for the kind words.

I am a friend of the editorial page editor, so I could have gotten away with a little more embellishment, but your point is well made. Undoubtedly, corporate welfare dwarfs what our society gives to the working class, and far too people are aware of this fact.

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 01:08 PM

38. Good reply, Lealth.

Did you happen to read some of the other letters at your link?
Holy cannoli !!!
Looks like a losing battle.

BUT- in 1971 the Macon High School (Illinois) baseball team, in a tiny town of pretty uneducated, right wing conservatives and a young left wing hippie coach with a beard, no less, won the Illinois state championship against odds that must have been a million to one. so.....never say never....

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Response to pangaia (Reply #38)

Sun Dec 15, 2013, 02:08 PM

44. I read those idiots nearly every day.

I am convinced, however, that the conservatives among us are just more vocal. Given how this county actually votes (a Republican can not win a county-wide election here), I suspect I will have a lot of silent support.

Thanks for the response.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 08:32 AM

46. Excellent Laelth, you rock!

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #46)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 09:08 AM

48. Thanks for the kind words, Scuba. :) n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 09:00 AM

47. KRB

Outstanding essay and article, yours. Every word.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #47)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 09:09 AM

49. Very kind of you. Thanks.

I hope it does some good.



-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Original post)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 09:53 AM

50. Great response! n/t

 

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Response to Triana (Reply #50)

Mon Dec 16, 2013, 10:17 AM

51. Thanks. n/t

-Laelth

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